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0 to 1 : Finding your first customer

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

The freight industry is a challenging one, particularly for new brokers finding their footing in the market. The first step to becoming a "million dollar broker" is often the most difficult: find your first customer.

Below are some tips and strategies that can help you find your first customer as a freight broker.


This is a critical component of building your business and finding your first customer. Attend industry events, trade shows, and conferences where you can meet potential clients and other professionals in the industry. Use these opportunities to introduce yourself, talk about your services, and exchange business cards.

Leverage Technology

In today's digital age, there are numerous online platforms that can help you find your first customer. Utilize social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to connect with potential clients and other freight brokers. You can also join online freight broker directories, which allow you to showcase your services and connect with potential clients.

Cold Calling

While it may seem old-fashioned, cold calling is still the most effective way to find new customers. Identify potential clients, and reach out to them to introduce yourself and your services. Be prepared to explain how you can help them with their shipping needs, and offer to send them more information about your services.


Referrals are a powerful way to build your business and find your first customer. Reach out to your personal and professional network, including friends, family, and colleagues, and let them know about your new business. Ask them to refer you to anyone who may need your services.


Do your research to identify potential clients that match your business needs. Look for businesses that have a high volume of shipping needs or ones that specialize in the types of products you can help transport. By identifying these businesses, you can craft a more targeted approach to reach out to them. Tools such as Panjiva, ImportGenius, and CargoPro allow users to easily generate lists of future customers based on current freight needs. CargoPro powerusers with no prior industry experience were able to identify, contact, and close new business within one month of their first login.

Provide Value

It's imperative to provide value to your potential clients. Take the time to understand their shipping needs, and offer solutions that meet their specific requirements. By illustrating exactly how your services make their life easier, you increase the likelihood that they will choose to work with you, and continue working with you in the future.


Finally, success will not come overnight. Finding your first customer will require persistent pursuit. Establish a routine and allot time for research, cold-calling, and networking.

Don't be discouraged and DON'T QUIT!

In conclusion, finding your first customer as a freight broker is a challenging process. However, by utilizing these strategies, you will improve your chances of finding a client that starts your book. Remember to network, leverage technology, cold call, seek referrals, research potential clients, and provide value. By doing so, you'll take the first huge step to becoming a "million dollar broker".

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